Top Questions About Urgent Care

about urgent careWhat is Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers can treat patients for illnesses and injury that are non-life threatening. Some of these include flu, cuts that need stitches and asthma attacks. Urgent care fills the gap between emergency room treatment and physician’s offices. They provide an option for when you need immediate care, and your primary care physician is not available. Many urgent care clinics are open extended hours, weekends and holidays.

Do I Need an Appointment?

With urgent care, an appointment is not necessary. Simply walk in and you will be treated by a licensed provider. The wait times are usually short. Some urgent care clinics even offer up-to-date wait times and convenient pre-registration on their websites.

Will Urgent Care Accept My Insurance?

Before you decide to get medical treatment at an urgent care center, you might wonder if your insurance will cover the visit. Each insurance provider determines if they cover urgent care centers or not. They are all different. However, in most cases insurance companies will cover urgent care. You might be required to pay a co-payment or deductible up front. While it is likely that an urgent care clinic might take your insurance, it is always best to call ahead or check out the clinic’s web page for more information.

Does Urgent Care Provide School Sports Exams?

Urgent care clinics can indeed help your child get cleared to play. Many of these facilities offer comprehensive sports exams for clubs, youth, high school and even college-level sports teams. Urgent care sports physicals are a quick and affordable option to a primary care physician visit.

Can Urgent Care Handle Any Kind of Emergency?

Urgent care clinics are not equipped to manage life-threatening emergencies. It is best to go to the emergency room or call 911 if you experience any of the following:


  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Head trauma
  • Overdose
  • Seizure
  • Severe bleeding
  • Confusion and weakness

Hospitals are better equipped and have more specialists at their disposal to treat these emergency situations.

What If I Suspect That I Have a Broken Limb? Can Urgent Care Help Me?

Broken bones and fractures require prompt medical care. Most urgent care centers are equipped with an x-ray machine. Therefore, you can obtain treatment for sprains and fractures at urgent care clinics. The treatment for a fracture or broken bone will depend upon the location of the injury and the seriousness of it. If it requires surgery, you will likely be referred to a specialist.

Do I Still Need a Primary Care Physician If I Use Urgent Care?

Although urgent care clinics can generally take care of anything a doctor’s office can, they should not replace your primary care physician. Urgent care clinics will see you when you are acutely ill or injured. Having a regular doctor is important for preventative care. Your primary care physician knows your complete medical history and will track your blood pressure and weight, watch out for signs of diabetes, discuss appropriate screenings and make sure your immunizations are up to date. In addition, your primary care physician is better equipped to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes or chronic pain. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can still be seen at an urgent care center. They can refer you to a primary care physician for follow-up treatment and care.


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How Families can Seek Medical Care in Urgent Care Centers

walk in clinicMany families are now using urgent care centers for routine services such as physical examinations and immunizations. Urgent care facilities are frequently open on a 24-hour basis, making it easier for families to schedule appointments. Most family practices are only open on weekdays when many people are working and unable to take time off for a medical appointment.


Your Guide to Childhood Vaccinations

vaccinationsWhat Are Vaccinations and Does My Child Really Need Them?
Vaccinations, also known as immunizations, protect children from a number of fatal and serious diseases by prompting the body to produce antibodies to fight these infections. Vaccines boost the body’s own immunity. Some of the diseases that vaccines protect against include measles, polio, whooping cough and diphtheria. You may not have heard of these diseases and that is because these vaccinations are working properly. Vaccinations have significantly decreased the number of infections and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. They have eradicated many serious illnesses over the years. In spite of these statistics, many parents are still anxious about giving their children vaccinations because of the misinformation that they have received. Read below to learn all about vaccinations for your child.
Types of Vaccinations
There are a number of vaccinations that children need. Consult your physician for a complete schedule and recommendations. Here are some of the common vaccinations:
This vaccine protects against meningococcal infection. Meningitis is a serious bacterial infection. It is an infection of the covering of the spinal cord and brain. Even when treated with antibiotics, about 15 percent of people that get meningococcal disease die. Of those who live, many suffer strokes and seizures, become deaf, lose their legs or arms or have problems with their nervous systems. Although anyone can get meningococcal disease, it is most common in infants and children ages 16-21.
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)
This is a combination immunization that helps protect children from three serious illnesses: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. These illnesses are caused by bacteria. Pertussis and diphtheria are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through wounds or cuts.

  • Diphtheria causes a thick mucus that covers the back of the throat. It often leads to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis or death.
  • Tetanus, also called lockjaw, causes extremely painful tightening of the muscles throughout the body. It causes the jaw to become locked so that the victim cannot swallow or even open his mouth. Tetanus causes death in approximately 2 out of 10 cases.
  • Pertussis is also called whooping cough. It causes terrible fits of coughing that makes it hard for the child to breathe, drink or eat. These coughing spells can lead to brain damage, seizures or even death.

The diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine prevents all of these illnesses. As you can see, childhood immunizations are very important, as they prevent serious illnesses from occurring. Vaccines are also very safe. They are rigorously tested to ensure that they are effective and safe before they are ever approved by the FDA.



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7 Questions You Should Ask When You Go to an Urgent Care

urgent careWhen you make a trip to an urgent care, you are most likely looking for a medical professional to help you in a timely matter. When most people go to an urgent care it usually because the situation is “urgent,” they may not be near their primary doctor, or their primary doctor facility is closed. If you are visiting a urgent care facility you should ask these 7 questions.

  1. Is there a doctor in the house?
  2. Is a radiologist going to read my x-ray?
  3. What kinds of lab tests can I have done here?
  4. Do you provide breathing treatments?
  5. Who is the medical director?
  6. What forms of insurance do you take?
  7. How much is it going to cost?

Click here to learn why these are important questions to ask.